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Press Release

Crystal Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Income Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

ROCKFORD — A Crystal Lake resident pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston to federal income tax evasion.

GARY T. PETERSEN, 55, was president and sole shareholder of Petersen Sealcoating and Paving, Inc., a business located in Crystal Lake.  According to a written plea agreement, Petersen in 2016 deposited checks received by PSPI as payment for its services and products into bank accounts Petersen held with family members and other accounts held by his family members that he controlled.  Petersen also cashed checks PSPI received and personally retained the cash, with the intention of excluding the money from income reported by PSPI to the IRS.

For the calendar year 2016, Petersen provided PSPI income information to his tax preparer, but concealed checks that he deposited into his joint and controlled accounts, and the checks he cashed.  On March 23, 2017, Petersen caused a false U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Form 1040 to be filed, stating the he and a co-filer had taxable income of $75,028 and that the amount of tax due was $10,919, when Petersen knew he and his co-filer had taxable income of approximately $1,174,261, and the additional amount of income tax due was approximately $402,431.

Petersen also admitted that during the calendar years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, he engaged in the same acts, underreporting PSPI’s income and his personal income on tax forms that would have resulted in additional tax due of $33,216 in 2012, $82,388 in 2013, $146,853 in 2014, and $356,230 in 2015.

Petersen faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.   The actual sentence will be determined by the U.S. District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines.  Sentencing is set for Feb. 17, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Todd Martin, Acting Special Agent-In-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

Updated November 16, 2020